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  • Top 10 Tips for Trick-or-Treating

    by Watson Realty | Oct 30, 2013

    10.   Lay out the ground rules before you leave the house.

    9.  Feeding your child before they go out will make them less likely to complain of hunger and    their need to eat candy collected.

    8.  If kids are going without parents, make sure they use the buddy system, and give them a curfew.

    7.  Warn your child to NEVER enter a stranger’s house.

    6.  Let the kids wear or carry glow sticks so they are easily visible. If parents are going, they should carry a flashlight for added safety. 

    5.  Kids should wear comfortable shoes, as they will be doing a lot of walking.

    4.  Make sure they have a coat, sweater or jacket for cooler climates.

    3.  Make sure kids travel on sidewalk whenever possible.

    2.  Good manners are universal, remind your children to say; “Thank you,” even if they don’t like the candy they received.

    1.   Be safe and have loads of fun!

  • New Marketing Director Named for Watson Realty Corp.

    by Watson Realty | Oct 30, 2013
    Michelle Brokes Watson Realty CorpWatson Realty Corp. is pleased to announce Michelle Brooks as the new corporate marketing director. Brooks joins Watson Realty Corp. with eight years of marketing and management experience, including leadership in the American Marketing Association (AMA), Jacksonville Chapter.

    Brooks, an active member of the AMA Jacksonville Chapter, sits on the board as the vice president of programming, monthly events. Participation in the AMA affords her the opportunity of networking with other marketing professionals, and training on the latest industry trends and creative marketing strategies from industry leaders.

    A graduate of Florida State University, Brooks earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing. Her professional experience includes working as part of a team on the national StopColonCancerNow.com marketing campaign while serving as regional marketing director at AmSurg in Philadelphia. Also, Brooks coordinated marketing events at Downtown Vision Inc. and managed the front desk operations at the Omni Jacksonville Hotel.

    “We are thrilled to welcome Michelle to our leadership team. Her past experience, and repertoire makes her a perfect fit for us here at Watson,” shared Ed Forman, president of Watson Realty Corp. “And the timing couldn’t be any more perfect, as we are experiencing an exciting time in the company’s history and in the real estate industry overall.”

    Brooks will lead the corporate marketing team of content writers and graphic designers to continue to provide cutting-edge marketing support and materials to the more than 1,200 members of the Watson Realty Corp. sales team. Brooks will oversee marketing efforts in the 12 Orlando area sales offices as well as the 28 Northeast Fla. and Southeast Ga. offices.

    Along with the executive leadership team, Brooks will also represent Watson Realty Corp. at international Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® (LeadingRE) events. Watson Realty Corp. is the only member of LeadingRE in Northeast Florida and an honored three-time recipient of LeadingRE’s highest achievement, the Diamond Award.

    For more information about Watson Realty Corp. marketing, contact Michelle Brooks at (904) 596-5984 or MBrooks@WatsonRealtyCorp.com
  • Tyrone Townsend Learns Real Estate Island Style

    by Watson Realty | Oct 28, 2013
    Tyrone Townsend, Realtor in the Watson Realty Corp. Sunbeam office visited the Caribbean in September where he met with fellow Leading Real Estate Companies of the World (LeadingRE) members.

    Townsend met with colleagues from Valerie Levy & Associates office in Jamaica, and International Realty Group (IRG) in the Grand Cayman Islands.

    “I had the most wonderful time meeting with the most delightful associates, Michelle Clarke and Sara Todd in Ocho Rios,” Townsend said about his trip to Jamaica.

    Townsend was provided a brief history of the agency as he toured Valerie Levy. Clarke and Todd invited Townsend to lunch where they shared their expert knowledge of the Jamaican real estate market.

    “Both associates were well experienced and knowledgeable and indicated their market averaged properties around $500,000, with Sara selling a total development at about $28 million,” reported Townsend.

    The Valerie Levy office is located in Ocho Rios, a major tourist town on the north coast of Jamaica, and is home to the famous Dunns River Falls.

    Townsend also visited IRG in Grand Cayman where he met with Tanesha Simpson. Simpson introduced Townsend to her fellow co-workers and they shared a great conversation about the differences in the real estate market in the United States versus Cayman.

    It was interesting for Townsend to learn the real selling season in Cayman begins in fall.

    “Historically, buyers visit and scope out properties during the summer months of May through September, then return in November to purchase,” Simpson shared.

    In addition to trusted referrals, members of the network provide exceptional marketing advantages and knowledge to their buyers and sellers. Watson Realty Corp. is honored to be a founding member of LeadingRE and a three-time recipient of the network’s highest honor, the Diamond Award.

    Tyrone Townsend is a life-long resident of Jacksonville, and has been a Realtor with Watson Realty Corp. for almost two years. Townsend says he chose Watson Realty Corp. to continue his business career because of the reputation, training technology, and professionalism of the company. Tyrone Townsend can be reached by phone at 904-635-2797 or via email at TyroneT@WatsonRealtyCorp.com
  • Watson Realty Leaders Show Support at Relocation Council 25th Anniversary Event

    by Watson Realty | Oct 24, 2013
    Three members of the Watson Realty Corp. leadership team represented the company at the recent Southeastern Regional Relocation Council (SRRC) 25th silver anniversary 2013 fall conference and gala celebration. Tammy Vlah, director of Watson Relocation Services, Jacksonville division, Judy Bissell, director of Watson Relocation Services, Central Florida division, and Carlotta Landschoot, executive vice president, Watson Realty Corp., attended the event to celebrate the Council’s achievements over the last quarter century.

    During the event, Landschoot was called onstage and recognized as one of the original board members of SRRC. Vlah and Bissell, both proud of the strong history of the company’s participation, commented on the importance of supporting SRRC.

    “It’s nice to see the relocation side of the business being celebrated, as it is often overlooked,” Vlah said. “Through partnering with SRRC we are able to ensure our transferees receive the best possible relocation experience as possible.

    Bissell agreed stating, “The SRRC has allowed us to stay ahead of what’s going on in the world of relocation as it relates to us here in Florida.”

    Held at the Rosen Shingle Creek resort in Orlando, Fla., the two-day celebration was themed “Looking Back…Moving Forward!” to showcase the organization’s past history and current advances.

    The daytime program featured round table panel discussions for both corporate and service provider attendees, industry breakout sessions covering both domestic and international topics, and keynote speeches by industry leaders.

    The themed “Havana Nights” evening networking gala was a success as members and patrons came out dressed to impress in their cocktail attire for dinner and dancing.

    Landschoot summed up the event by sharing, “It was wonderful to pay tribute to those individuals who had the foresight to assemble such a strong organization to further support the relocation industry.”
  • Theresa Gonzalez makes Italian Connection with LeadingRE Affiliate

    by Watson Realty | Oct 23, 2013
    During a recent visit to Rome, Theresa Gonzalez, CDPE, Realtor in the Watson Realty Corp. Atlantic Beach office, met with Maurizio Pezzetta, broker and owner of La Commerciale srl Promozioni Immobiliari.

    The meeting served as an exchange of information regarding the housing markets in Northeast Florida and Rome. Gonzalez reported that Pezzetta was pleasantly surprised at how well the Northeast Florida market is rebounding compared to Italy.

    “Due to Italy’s political and economic environment, the housing market remains challenged,” Gonzalez said.

    Gonzalez was impressed by Pezzetta’s listing inventory, which focuses primarily on high-end properties and estates. Gonzalez gained insight into the marketing of these luxury Italian properties.

    Both companies are members of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World (LeadingRE), a network of elite brokerage firms representing 40 countries worldwide. As member affiliates, Gonzalez and Pezzetta provide referrals to customers buying and selling real estate out of their service areas.

    In addition to trusted referrals, members of the network provide exceptional marketing advantages and knowledge to their buyers and sellers. Watson Realty Corp. is honored to be a founding member of LeadingRE and a three-time recipient of the network’s highest honor, the Diamond Award.

    Theresa Gonzalez has been a Jacksonville Beach resident for over 20 years and served in the U.S. Navy as a Yeoman. Gonzalez is dedicated to her real estate business and continually strives to provide a superior level of service to her customers. For more information, contact Gonzalez at (904) 236-0519   or http://TGonzalez.WatsonRealtyCorp.com.   
  • Watson Realty Corp. Wins Big at BizTech Awards

    by Watson Realty | Oct 23, 2013
    Watson Realty Corp. was one of three award winners for the Best Use of a Website to Generate Business Leads at the Jacksonville Business Journal BizTech Innovations Awards luncheon held Oct. 18 at the Hyatt Riverfront. The awards aim to identify and acknowledge those companies in Jacksonville that have made substantial gains from using technology to enhance their company and client experience.

    “We are extremely proud of our IT department’s outstanding performance in earning us this award,” shared Carlotta Landschoot, executive vice president, Watson Realty Corp.

    Regarding real estate closings, the Watson Realty Corp. website has been the No. 1 source of company-generated business assigned to sales associates. Landschoot further expressed that the values of the leads generated from the website contribute to the success of the individual associates and the company as a whole. The Watson Realty Corp. website has been instrumental in procuring leads for not just buyers or sellers of homes, but also for the other services Watson Realty Corp.™ offers such as property management, home improvement needs, mortgage and title services, to name a few.

    “Our goal is to have the customer bookmark our site as the main source for listings in Northeast Florida, as well as refer it to others due to ease of use and valuable content provided,” explained Landschoot.

    In planning the development of the website, some of the key elements considered were usability, a quick return on search results with just one click, and the site had to have the capability to show every available listing and all the services Watson Realty Corp. offers.

    “I was really honored that of all the nominees, Watson was the only company that had their website created internally,” said Joe Balla, director of Information Technology.

    Management and staff alike have expressed their appreciation and sent out well-deserved kudos to the Customer Service and IT departments.

    “The greatness just keeps growing,” said Craig McCall, vice president and managing broker at the Orange Park/ Blanding office. “I am so proud to be with such an innovative firm.”

    For more information, visit http://www.WatsonRealtyCorp.com. Members of the Watson Realty Corp.™ Customer Service department closely monitor and quickly respond to online inquiries received through the website.
  • Local Realtor Serves Customers with Caribbean LeadingRE Brokerage Referrals

    by Watson Realty | Oct 21, 2013
    Naomi Hernandez, Realtor®, Watson Realty Corp. Mandarin North office, recently visited Puerto Rico and the office of Isla del Coqui Real Estate in Guaynabo. Coqui Real Estate (http://www.islacoqui.com/) is a fellow member of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® (LeadingRE). Hernandez met with Relocation Manager Jose Olmos to strengthen business ties in order to refer customers buying and selling real estate in either Puerto Rico or Northeast Florida.

    “During my visit with Mr. Olmos, he shared information about the economic condition of the real estate market in the metropolitan area and the island as a whole,” Hernandez said. “As in the United States, the island is economically challenged in some areas more than others.”

    This summer trip fully exemplifies the strength of networking and fostering good business relationships for the members of the LeadingRE. In addition to trusted referrals, members of the network provide exceptional marketing advantages and knowledge to their buyers and sellers. Watson Realty Corp. is honored to be a founding member of LeadingRE and a three-time recipient of the network’s highest honor, the Diamond Award.

    Born and raised in New York, Hernandez has been a resident of Florida since 1986, and has over 30 years of experience in the mortgage lending industry. She has helped thousands of customers realize their dream of home ownership. An educator and avid traveller, Hernandez has visited about 15 U.S. states, Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Spain and Puerto Rico. For more information about Naomi Hernandez, visit http://NHernandez.WatsonRealtyCorp.com or call (904) 874-8861. The Watson Realty Corp. Mandarin North office is located at 11226 San Jose Blvd. 
  • Listing Your Home- Exterior Focus

    by Watson Realty | Oct 17, 2013

    Many homeowners concentrate on improving the interior of their home before listing, but focusing on the exterior can impress buyers and increase showings.

    There are some key elements that go into making the outer appearance of your house attractive; hence more valuable, including: landscaping, paint, the front door, drive-way and the condition of the roof.

    Here are five steps for improving your property exterior:

    1.   Good landscaping improves curb appeal, which can significantly increase a property’s value ranging from 7to 15 percent. Regardless of how beautiful the inside of your house may be, if the yard is unkempt, it will be hard to sell. Spruce up your yard by mowing the lawn, trimming and pruning all trees and shrubbery, put down fresh mulch and add some new perennials and flowers appropriate for the season. Chrysanthemums are great for borders and in the garden for the fall season.

    2.  Applying a fresh coat of paint can work wonders on any surface whether interior or exterior. However, a good pressure washing may also provide the same results. Either way, you want the exterior of the house looking new and in pristine condition. Also, you want to keep the color of the house in keeping with the style of the house, as well as the neighborhood.

    3.  Spruce up the front door. Believe it or not, a front door of a house can make or break a sale on a house. Not only is the front door a focal point from the outside, but it can also be crafted to be a showpiece of the house. Color, style and design are important factors to consider when installing a front door. The door needs to be cohesive with the style of the house; and don’t be afraid to decorate it with a wreath or simply a bold color. Also, make sure to replace any old hardware or doorknobs.

    4.  Repair the driveway. A greasy, stained, overgrown or cracked driveway does the house no good.  Kill the weeds that have taken residence in the cracks of your pavement, repair the cracks and remove all stains. A good pressure wash and degreasing can also drastically improve the overall appearance of your driveway. Also, if more car parking space is needed, you can add stone, brick or pavers to the sides, giving the driveway a more stylish appeal.

    5. The roof is one of the most important elements of any building structure. The roof essentially protects the house from the sometimes harsh and crude effects of Mother Nature. It is very critical to be vigilant about your roof’s condition. It will not only allow for an easier sale, but if properly maintained all along, may save you from spending money on last-minute repairs when you decide to list.

    Updating or repairing these exterior elements can improve first impressions of potential buyers. If they are impressed with the exterior, they may be more likely to schedule a showing of the interior. 

     *contributing sources: hgtv.com, hgtvremodels.com, frontdoor.com

  • Watson Realty’s Darlene Peterson Visits Caribbean Brokerage to Boost Referrals

    by Watson Realty | Oct 15, 2013
    Darlene Peterson, Realtor in the Watson Realty Corp. Longwood office, recently cruised to the island of St. Thomas in the Caribbean. While she was there, Peterson took time to meet with fellow Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® (LeadingRE) member, Sea Glass Properties.

    The beauty of the island and the physical location of the office overwhelmed Peterson. Sea Glass Properties is conveniently located right on the waterfront, and from their front windows there is a direct view of arriving cruise ships and private yachts.

    Peterson met with Rob Barringer, sales executive for Sea Glass Properties, who shared insights into the real estate market in St. Thomas. Peterson looks forward to a strong referral relationship between the two LeadingRE offices in the near future.

    In addition to trusted referrals, members of the network provide exceptional marketing advantages and knowledge to their buyers and sellers. Watson Realty Corp. is honored to be a founding member of LeadingRE and a three-time recipient of the network’s highest honor, the Diamond Award.

    Barringer has been in the real estate industry since 2005 and has spent the majority of his life in St. Thomas and St. John, having moved to the U.S. Virgin Islands as a teenager.  Barringer is an expert on the nuances and intricacies of island real estate transactions.

    Peterson has spent her entire 25-year real estate career at Watson Realty Corp. and has stayed up-to-date on industry training, practices and standards. Peterson is a Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE) and is also a trained relocation specialist. Darlene Peterson can be reached via phone at 407-920-0470 or visit http://DarleneP.WatsonRealtyCorp.com. The Longwood office is located at 1445 W. SR 434, Suite 100.
  • Central Florida Realtor Team Offers French Real Estate Connection for Customers

    by Watson Realty | Oct 11, 2013
    Suzanne and Irena Aistrop, a mother and daughter real estate team, visited the office of Junot Investments, fellow Leading Real Estate Companies of the World (LeadingRE) member, during their recent travels to France.

    The Aistrop team met with Sebastien Kuperfis, broker and relocation director of Junot Investments, in Paris. The purpose of the visit was to gain insight and information about the real estate market, to convey to customers looking to purchase property in Paris.

    Connections such as these are important to the Aistrop’s customers, as many countries outside the United States do not have a centralized property database of listings. The Multiple Listing Service, or MLS, is a fast way for all brokerage firms in the United States to list properties.

    Kuperfis advised the Aistrops he has started a Paris database and is actively recruiting other firms to join and build the system.

    “There are great benefits to our MLS system and I am excited to see the start of a similar system by Junot Investments in Paris,” Suzanne Aistrop said.

    Suzanne and Irena Aistrop noted the value of the real estate market information exchange with Kuperfis. Junot Investment customers now have a strong real estate connection in Central Florida when they are ready to buy.
  • Watson Realty’s Katrina Leek Strengthens Canadian Referral Relationships

    by Watson Realty | Oct 09, 2013
    Katrina Leek, Realtor in the Watson Realty Fleming Island office recently visited two Canadian members of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World (LeadingRE).

    Leek met with Vice President and Division Manager Gary Zalepa Jr. of Royal LePage Real Estate Services – Johnston and Daniel Division. The meeting was beneficial to Leek as she learned about the latest news and information about the Canadian real estate market from Zalepa. Leek discovered that Watson Realty Corp. and Royal LePage operate in a similar manner in that they offer many services all under one roof, including a mortgage company and a construction division.

    For her other Canadian visit, Leek met with another fellow LeadingRE member, Sally McGarr, owner of Sally McGarr Realty Corp. Leek and McGarr discussed real estate trends in Northeast Florida and Niagara, as well as interest rates in both areas, and how the Ontario banking system works. McGarr, who visited Jacksonville, Fla. over 30 years prior, shared fond memories of her trip with Leek.

    Leek took pictures at both visits, which are posted on her business Facebook page in effort to advertise the international connections that Watson Realty Corp. has abroad.  Both Canadian hosts, Zalepa and McGarr, agreed to do the same. In addition to trusted referrals, members of the network provide exceptional marketing advantages and knowledge to their buyers and sellers. Watson Realty Corp. is honored to be a founding member of LeadingRE and a three-time recipient of the network’s highest honor, the Diamond Award.

    Visit http://KatrinaLeek.WatsonRealtyCorp.com or call (904) 945-5610 for more information.
  • Common Breast Cancer Myths

    by Watson Realty | Oct 08, 2013

    It’s often the things we know the very least about, that we assume the most about; and Breast Cancer is no different.

    We’ve put together a short list of common myths and mistruths about breast cancer to educate you on the REAL FACTS of the disease

    MYTH: CAFFEINE CAUSES BREAST CANCER

    TRUTH: There is no conclusive result indicating caffeine consumption can lead to contracting breast cancer. In fact, some research indicates the opposite, that caffeine may actually lower risk.

    MYTH: BREAST CANCER IS CONTAGIOUS

    TRUTH: Breast cancer is not transferrable between individuals; you cannot “catch” breast cancer. However, an early detection plan and healthy lifestyle can help reduce risk significantly.

    MYTH: BREAST CANCER IS A WOMAN’S DISEASE

    TRUTH: There are only a small percentage of men that contract breast cancer, but this is definitely not a gender specific disease. Approximately 2,190 men are diagnosed yearly and of that number about 410 die.

    MYTH: BREAST LUMP = BREAST CANCER

    TRUTH: Not all breast lumps are in fact cancerous, but still should be checked thoroughly.  These lumps could be cysts, or a benign condition called fibrocystic changes or fibroadenoma, or in layman terms – fatty tissue.

    MYTH: I’M TOO YOUNG TO GET BREAST CANCER

    TRUTH: Breast cancer is not race, gender nor age specific. Typically the disease manifests itself in post-menopausal women, but 25 percent of women with breast cancer are younger than 50. Younger women should have yearly doctor examinations and mammograms once they hit age 40.

     

    http://www.nationalbreastcancer.org/breast-cancer-myths

    http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20533364,00.html

     

  • Watson Realty’s Sue King Visits Real Estate Referral Partner in Italy

    by Watson Realty | Oct 07, 2013
    Sue King, Realtor® in the Longwood office, visited Rome, Italy, where she had an informative and insightful meeting with Maurizio Pezzeta, broker and owner of La Commerciale srl Promozioni Immobiliari.  The meeting served to strengthen ties and the sharing of information between the Florida and Italian real estate markets and to also build bonds with fellow members of the Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® (LeadingRE).

    King and Pezzeta discussed in detail the value of membership in LeadingRE. Pezzeta was extremely gracious throughout King’s visit and shared tidbits with King about a recent listing he had taken, located on the top of the Spanish Steps (Piazza di Spagna – Spanish Square) in Rome. The Spanish Steps is one of the most visually famous monuments worldwide, and is the widest staircase in Europe.

    “Because of the villa’s prominent location atop The Spanish Steps, it was obviously very desirable…the villa was going for an amazing bargain of 25 million Euros,” King stated. “I assured Mr. Pezzeta that I would let everyone I knew that might be interested about his new listing.”

    King has a passion for buying and selling real estate. “There is something about helping a family find that perfect home, or helping them find the best buyer for the home that they are leaving behind, that makes real estate sales, by far, the most satisfying career I could ever have imagined!” shared King.  For more information about Sue King, visit www.KingofOrlando.com or call (407) 492-9353. 
  • Go Pink for October

    by Watson Realty | Oct 02, 2013

    October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and is recognized globally in efforts to bring awareness to the disease. Numerous events occur around the world in the form of walks and runs, to promote self-examinations, early detection, screening and overall awareness.

    Pink, the signature color of the Breast Cancer Awareness movement can be seen everywhere in October from landmark buildings to NFL players who incorporate the color in their uniforms, to newspapers printing entire issues in pink ink.

    Advocates for breast cancer awareness hope more exposure and education will lead to earlier detection, higher survival rates; and that funds raised will enable more research to find a permanent cure.

    All around the city of Jacksonville, you will start seeing the Pink ribbons and all sorts of displays of pink as we embrace this month’s promise for a cure.

    Below see a list of events happening around town this week.

    • Monday – Bosom Buddies 7-8:30pm, Women’s Center of Jacksonville.

              5644 Colcord Ave. (904) 722-3000, ext. 224.

    • Tuesday – SenioRITAs Tennis Tournament, Oct 1, 16 and 18-20

               (904) 806-3613 or the-rita-foundation.org/senioritas

    Breast Cancer Support Group, presented by Mayo Breast Clinic and the Pink Sisters and Friends, 6:30-8 p.m., Mayo Clinic, 4500 San Pablo, Road. Stabile Building, 125N. (904) 953-0707

    Breast Cancer Support Group of St. Augustine, 7 p.m., Flagler Hospital, 400 Health Park Blvd., Suite 1010. (904) 501-7100 or bcsg-staug.com

    • Wednesday – Bosom Buddies of Amelia Island, 5:30 p.m., Fernandina

                Beach Police Department, Lime Street. (904) 225-0067

    • Saturday – Pink Ribbon Symposium 8 a.m. – 1 p.m., Thrasher-Horne

                 Center for the Arts, St. Johns River Community College, 283 College Drive. Orange Park.